As of 2018, automated teller machine (ATM) fees were 36% higher than they were 10 years prior. Interestingly, over that time, ATM withdrawal activity has steadily waned, partly due to the higher ATM fees, and partly due to the proliferation of electronic payment apps, which have reduced the frequency of cash transactions. Fortunately, many banks still offer checking accounts featuring ATM fee rebates, and other perks, to those consumers who regularly withdraw cash.

Key Takeaways

  • Automated teller machine (ATM) fees have 36% over the decade anding in 2018.
  • ATM withdrawal activity has steadily decreased, due to the higher ATM fees coupled with the proliferation of electronic payment apps.
  • Many banks still offer enticing checking account features, that may include free mobile banking, mobile paying, and a free first set of check.

Banks with Capped Reimbursements

PNC

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) offers a $20 reimbursement on select checking accounts, per statement period. This account carries a $25 monthly service charge that can be waived, if certain conditions are met. Furthermore, the account earns interest on balances of $2,000 or more. PNC operates a limited network of brick and mortar establishments.

Ally

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) offers an interest-bearing checking account with live 24/7 customer service. In addition to reimbursing up to $10 in domestic ATM fees, per statement cycle, Ally offers free debit MasterCards, free bill paying, and mobile depositing.

BankFive

BankFive offers interest-bearing checking accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. The first order of checks are free, as are mobile banking, and bill paying capabilities. Non-network location ATM fees are reimbursed up to $10 per statement cycle.

Banks with Free Domestic ATM Use

E-Trade

E-TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: ETFC) offers checking accounts with unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds, regardless of the account balance. There are no monthly fees on the account, which offers features like online bill pay, free Visa debit cards, unlimited transactions, and the free first order of checks. E-Trade operates a narrow branch office network throughout the United States.

Fidelity

Fidelity Investments offers a cash management account described as "a traditional checking account without the bank fees". There are no monthly fees or minimum balances, and all ATM fees are automatically reimbursed nationwide, with a 1% foreign transaction fee. Free bill pay, mobile check deposit, and checks are also included. Fidelity operates a limited branch network across the United States.

Axos Bank

Axos Bank (formerly Bank of Internet USA) boasts a rewards checking account with no monthly fees, minimum balances or overdraft fees. Customers can earn up to 1.25% interest by meeting certain goals, and they can be reimbursed for an unlimited number of domestic ATM withdrawals. Free online bill pay, mobile deposit, and mobile banking are also available, but foreign transaction fees apply.

IncredibleBank

IncredibleBank, a division of River Valley Bank, offers an interest-bearing checking account with automatically reimbursed external ATM fees. A Visa check card, online bill pay and mobile banking are all included. A monthly fee of $15 is required for balances averaging less than $300, for customers who decline the paperless banking option.

TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank has a highly competitive interest-bearing checking account. Unlimited ATM fees from domestic banks are included with the minimum balance of $5,000. Free bill pay, mobile deposit and Apple Pay-supported debit cards are included. TIAA has branch offices in Florida, and all accounts are available online.

Banks with Free Domestic and International ATM Use

First Republic

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) offers an ATM rebate checking account, where customers may access their money worldwide, where any third-party fees are reimbursed. Interest can be earned without a monthly account fee on balances of $3,500 or more. Online banking, bill pay and the free first order of checks are included.

Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) has a high-yield investor checking account that tops the list for the best checking accounts with reimbursed ATM fees. Schwab offers unlimited reimbursement for any ATM fees incurred worldwide. Free bill pay, standard checks, a Visa debit card, mobile deposit and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service are all included. As of 2018, individuals with this account earn a 0.35% variable interest rate on any balances they maintain.

[Important: Unless customers opt for overdraft protection, they may be subject to charges of $10 and up, if they bounce a check, with banks that don't offer free protection.]